Decide today to refrain from any behavior or activities that are impure. In 1902, a priest gave instruction on purity to the first Communicants in which he stated, “Purity at All Costs”, One of the first Communicants was Maria Goretti, who gave her life rather than offend God. Which do we value more: our eternal salvation or false pleasure which comes from a box of wires – a computer or television?
2. Express Contrition
We experience true contrition in our hearts when we realize how much sin offends God, hurts us, as well as others. It is our sins that have caused the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It injures our soul and mortal sin results in spiritual death. Sin also injures our relationship with others, especially with our wife, girlfriend, friends, co-workers, as well as the mystical body of Christ. We should meditate daily on the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
3. Quickly Flee From Temptation
Flee from the sinful image. Never battle the image in your mind or let it continue. Sins against purity are never won by battling them. Completely focus your mind on something else. Replace the sinful image with a positive image. Beautiful scenery, photos of friends or fun family times together are great images to use. Keep holy art in your home to focus on. The quicker one turns away from the sinful image, the stronger the will becomes. The longer one allows the sinful image to remain in his mind, by battling or entertaining the thought, the less control he has and the stronger the image becomes and the more difficult it is to resist it.
4. Frequent Confession
The goal is to confess monthly. However, we should confess immediately after a fall, which may mean to confess more than once a week. First, tell the priest how long it has been since your last confession. If you feel like it may have been a mortal sin, mention how many times. One of the biggest mistakes we can make, is thinking that we need only to confess the act of masturbation. When going to Confession, we need to tell the priest we had thoughts of impurity, lust, fantasies, and the desire for them. It is important to begin to confessing a lustful thought or desire, even though one has not masturbated because sin begins in the mind, before the action occurs. It is important to confess the desire to want to have an image, because, the impure desire, is really a desire to sin.
5. Frequent Holy Communion
Go to Mass every Sunday, and when possible, during the week. By receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, we receive the grace to avoid sin.
One of the most effective and powerful ways to stop temptation dead in its tracks is to immediately begin to pray Our Fathers and Hail Marys out loud at the beginning of temptations. In the event they do not stop (which is rare), continue to pray. Even if one goes through with the action while praying out loud, a mortal sin most likely will not have occurred, because one could not have given full consent, if one is praying not to do it.
Daily personal prayer to God is very important. Pray at least 15 to 30 minutes everyday. Pray a Holy Hour, once a week, or more when possible. St. Alphonsus Liguori said to Pray 3 Hail Marys to Our Lady everyday for the grace of purity and she will grant it.
7. Avoid the Near Occasion of Sin
Destroy ALL Pornography (NOW). Destroy all CD’s, DVD’s, videotapes, computer files, and magazines. Remove Internet bookmarks. Put a filter on your computer:
Disconnect the Internet, if you are unable to get a filter and do not need a computer at home. If your problem is at work, move your computer where others can view what you are doing. Leave your door open. If television if the source, then don’t watch it. It sounds difficult, but it’s worth it to protect your soul.
8. Develop a Protection Plan
Cancel subscriptions to newspapers containing images, take a different route home – knowing that you may be tempted to purchase a magazine or see a billboard. Avoid shopping at stores that contain items of temptation.
9. Avoid Location of Incidents
If a shower is your problem, take a quick shower – Get in and out – turn on cold water. If fantasy occurs when you lay down to sleep, take a crucifix to bed with you and hold it your hand or tape it to your hand, before going to bed.
10. Increase Social Life
Avoid loneliness. If a temptation begins, call someone, go visit a friend, take a walk, or go to the store. Establish friendships to avoid loneliness. Join an anti-pornographic group at a parish or a Men’s Virtue Group such as Men’s Familia, or St. Joseph’s Covenant Keepers.
11. Keep Busy
When one is conscious of the desire, or if a lustful thought or fantasy begins, immediately distract yourself by keeping busy so that you mind focuses on something else – like the details of a baseball or football game. Think of a project you are involved in at work.
To mortify means to die to self. When we die to self, we do not allow pleasures such as masturbation or pornography to control our life. Therefore, we strengthen our will, but not giving into pleasures, but by practising patience. For example, we can make ourselves drive the speed limit. We can avoid immediately turning on the air conditioner when we’re hot, or the heat on when we’re cold. Rather than getting in the shortest line at the grocery store, we can make ourselves wait by standing in the longest line. When we get the urge to have ice cream we can make ourselves wait twenty minutes before going to the freezer or we can have one scoop instead of two. A powerful means of mortification is to fast once or twice a week by eating only bread and water (or only fruit), perhaps at lunch or even at each meal of the day chosen to fast, such as a Friday. We might choose to eat foods we dislike over those we prefer. Another type of fast is doing something for others, such as serving weekly or monthly in a soup kitchen, praying for an hour weekly at the nearest abortion mill, or volunteering for the parish. The Knights of Columbus is a wonderful Catholic service – oriented group for men, which keeps them busy with a number of worthwhile activities in the Church as well as in the community.
13. Reducing Stress by Exercising
When stressed from work or problems with family or relationships, regular exercise purifies the body and helps the body to deal with stress, making it easier to fight temptations. Also, getting proper sleep is essential.
14. Food Moderation
The lack of balance in one area (intemperance), especially in one area of the appetite, affects other appetites. When one eats immoderately (too much), the will is weakened, and is not as able to moderately control other passions such as lust or masturbation. Be moderate in all things.
15. Fill the mind with Good Thoughts
Read the Bible, good spiritual books, watch religious videos or DVD’s, read the lives of the saints, study the Catholic faith. Avoid TV and the Internet – unless of course you’re watching EWTN or visiting good Catholic sites (which you have bookmarked) like Catholic Fire.
If you are addicted to pornography, visit http://www.pornnomore.com/, A Catholic ministry that helps those struggling with pornography addiction.
This is a re-post, which has been so popular, I decided to update it and share it again.
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